Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Season of Lent, is Wednesday, Feb. 22.
For Roman Catholics, it is a 40-day period of penance, reflection and fasting in preparation for celebrating Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
The two Catholic churches in West Orange are collaborating to provide a full slate of Lenten programs at various days and times to accommodate the needs and schedules of the faithful.
On Wednesday, distribution of ashes will take place at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, One Eagle Rock Avenue, at the 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Masses, as well as at prayer services at 12 noon and 3:30 p.m., and an evening Mass at 7:30 p.m.
Saint Joseph’s Church, 44 Benevenue Avenue, will distribute ashes at Masses at 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 12 noon and 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m. is the first in a series of weekly lectures on “Jesus, God and Man: His Life, Teachings and Resurrection,” at Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel (on the Mississippi Avenue side of the old school building). The five one-hour sessions will be presented by Father Kieran Fergus, O.P., a professor at Seton Hall University and priest in residence at the parish.
On Friday, Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m., St. Joseph’s will host a special presentation on The Shroud of Turin, the burial cloth of Jesus, in the church. It is preceded by Stations of the Cross, which will take place at 7 p.m. in the church each Friday of Lent.
Starting Feb. 27, on Monday afternoons at 1 p.m. and Tuesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. in the Beatrice Kruglinski Parish Center, Saint Joseph’s will present the award-winning PBS series, “Catholicism,” a six-part video and discussion program focusing on the truths of the Catholic faith. Father Robert Barron, creator and host of the video series, examines what Catholics believe and why, while immersing the viewer in the art, architecture, literature, beliefs and practices of the Catholic tradition. Following each hour-long video presentation will be a group discussion segment. For more information, please contact Pauline Alger at (973) 669-8331.
Tuesdays in Lent, starting Feb. 28, West Orange native Sister Sandy DeMasi, SSJ, and Sister Donna Ciangio, O.P., will present Lenten Mornings of Reflection immediately following the 8:30 a.m. Mass in the Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel.
On all Saturdays in Lent, Saint Joseph’s Men’s Sharing Group will meet at 7 a.m. in the church rectory, and the sacrament of reconciliation will be offered at 1 p.m. at Saint Joseph’s and 4:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes.
There are even more Lenten events planned for later in the season.
Please continue to check Patch for updated information.